The Social Justice and Education MA will help students to identify, examine and understand key sociological and philosophical perspectives on social justice, including issues of 'race', class, gender and sexuality, and education. Participants will explore the personal and political dimensions of social justice concerns and develop their professional, practical and research skills in this area.
Modes and duration
Full time students usually take two modules (Understanding Education Research and Sociology of Education) in the Autumn term, then the remaining two or three modules across the Spring or Summer terms depending on their choices. Part time students are advised to take no more than one module per term.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard in education or sociology or a cognate discipline is required. Some educational experience in either teaching or administration is considered an advantage.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa – study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
This programme provides students with the opportunity to address, in a unique way, the complex links between social justice and education, focusing on key current policy and political debates about the role of education. They will also be able to develop, extend and reflect on their own professional interests, concerns and practice and how to address pressing issues of social justice in their everyday professional and personal lives. Through their engagement with cutting-edge research in this area they will learn tools for fighting for social justice and transformation in the educational areas relevant for them.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits), or, a report (30 credits) and a third optional module (30 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Social Justice and Education.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
- Sociology of Education
- Understanding Education Research
- Dissertation or Report
Students can choose optional modules from the list below and from a range of modules from the UCL Institute of Education. Please note they are all subject to availability. Rights and Education is strongly recommended for students on the Social Justice and Education MA.
- Rights and Education
- Gender, Sexuality and Education
- Sociology of Race and Education
- Understanding Education Policy
- Theoretical Foundations of Educational Ideas
- Social Theory and the Study of Contemporary Social Problems
- Higher Education: Comparative and International Perspectives
- Gender, Education and Development
- Education, Values and Identities
- Minorities, Migrants and Refugees in National Education Systems
Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words or a report of 7,500 words.
Some fieldwork is normally undertaken in relation to research for the dissertation module. This is organised by the student according to their contacts and contexts.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of face-to-face evening sessions and interactive online learning using a variety of teaching and learning styles. Sometimes a conventional lecture-based approach is taken, with the aim of providing an overview of the field. Lectures are usually followed by open discussion or group work. At other times a seminar format is adopted involving, for example, group discussion of set reading, a video or an introductory presentation. Assessment is through coursework essay assignments, plus submission of a report or dissertation.
You may be required to apply for Disclosure and Barring Service clearance if your research requires work with children or vulnerable adults.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2021/22
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are leaders, managers, teachers and practitioners in the compulsory education sector across international contexts. Many are working as professionals in NGO organisations specialising in social justice across many countries such as Chile, Japan, Canada and the UK. Graduates can also be found working as civil servants and government officials. In addition, many find places in the higher education sector including across a range of professional roles, as researchers, and as university lecturers worldwide.
Students develop the capacity to:
- reflect critically on debates concerning education and social justice across diverse contexts
- appraise how knowledge forms, and is formed by, education politics, policy, practice and research
- consider the implications of theory, research and analyses about social justice in education and how it can impact their own future practice and professional development
- use oral and written communication skills in order to make arguments, examine evidence and creatively advance social justice and education
- evaluate processes entailed in social science and philosophical research and conduct their own unique research in the area of social justice and education.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Department of Education, Practice and Society at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is home to an interdisciplinary grouping bringing together high-quality teaching and research in the sociology, philosophy and history of education, international development, post-compulsory and vocational education and higher education. The programme is mainly taught by staff in the Centre for Sociology of Education and Equity.
Social Justice and Education, along with the MAs in Sociology of Education and Policy Studies in Education, is part of the Department’s Sociology MA cluster. The three ‘pathways’ share some modules and the MA Programme Leaders and Module Leaders work closely together as a team. Students therefore gain invaluable opportunities to study with leading scholars and an internationally diverse student cohort across these MA cluster pathways.
The Social Justice and Education MA is taught by world-leading sociologists and philosophers within the department who have expertise in theory, research methods, policy analysis and impacting social change. Those teaching are active researchers in areas such as equality and human rights, gender, 'race', sexuality, youth, disability and social class. In their teaching they introduce the latest research and developments in their fields.
This programme explores sociological and philosophical perspectives on social justice and equalities and also explores processes of social transformation and change. Key issues debated include understanding and responding to social and educational disparities in international contexts. The programme equips students with essential theoretical and methodological research skills for engaging critically with social justice issues including understanding power relations from various perspectives. The MA attracts a diversity of both home and international students thus providing excellent educational and professional networking opportunities and creating a powerful learning community.
Department: Education, Practice & Society
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
This programme is suited to teachers and education-related professionals from any international context. Those who are interested in working in social justice sectors, including NGOs, are well placed for this programme. It is also ideal for those wishing to gain high-level research skills in the area of social justice and education.
- All applicants
- 31 May 2021
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Social Justice and Education at graduate level
- why you want to study Social Justice and Education at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree.
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
We look for a strong academic background in general, since the course is intellectually demanding. We particularly look for some background in Sociology, as its concepts are key to the Programme, or in Education and other cognate fields, and/or experience as an educator. Your application will still be considered if you do not have these, but you would need to address this explicitly in your Personal Statement.
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